Penn State Fall Sports 2011 Preview

Penn State Fall Sports 2011 Preview

Finally, the wait for the fall sports season is almost over. The fans are getting prepped, the players are training, and the coaches are going over their playbooks. Nets are being set up, fields painted with team colors, and referees are practicing setting up lines of scrimmage. There is so much to look forward to with the fall sports, and fans of the Penn State Nittany Lions can get even more rowdy than fans of other college teams. Why is this? There is so much to get excited about!
Lady Lions Basketball

 width=The Lady Lions basketball team already has their non-conference schedule set up. It will consist of twelve games, six of which will be home games, played at Bryce Jordan Center. The team will host games against Virginia Tech and North Carolina. After a road trip of four games, they will return home before playing another away game, followed by three home games. The Big Ten Conference schedule has yet to be announced.

Penn State Football

The Nittany Lions Football team is getting more and more linemen this year, and has also received oral commitments from Tommy Schutt, a defensive back from Illinois, and Eugene Lewis, a wide receiver from PA. Schutt is a top-ranked player in the state of Illinois, and Lewis is the first wide receiver prospect this year for Penn State. Lewis received many scholarship offers, but with the oral commitment to Penn State, it looks as if the Nittany Lions will be getting a quality wide receiver. In addition to these new players, there are many returning players, including Robert Bolden, the starting quarterback. He is expected to have a breakout season, and many fans are very excited to see him play again this year. Other returning players this year missed much of last year due to injuries. Such players include Curtis Drake (wide receiver), Brandon Beachum (running back), and Andrew Szczerba (tight end). Linebacker Michael Mauti is returning as well; fans believe he may win the Nagurski Trophy or the Butkus Award this year. Safety Nick Sukay is going to be on the roster as well, along with fellow safety Drew Astorino. Senior wide receiver Derek Moye is a popular player, and he’s returning as well. Fans will be keeping a close eye on him; he is on the watch list for the Biletnikoff Award which is given to America’s top college receiver. Even though the Lions suffered a sad loss to Florida last year in the Outback Bowl, most fans believe the team can climb back up and contend for the Big Ten Title this year. This belief is not unfounded; these players are great at what they do.

Nittany Lions Volleyball

Ladies Penn State TeeThe Penn State Women’s Volleyball team is a great team this year. Last year, it was more than half-filled with freshman players. This year, there are only five. While the team is still relatively young, head coach Russ Rose is confident in the team’s ability. He believes they need to gain knowledge and experience about the game and the team dynamic, and a leader needs yet to emerge. However, Kristen Carpenter, a junior setter, seems to be stepping into that role this year. Both Rose and Carpenter are working hard to get the team ready, because they know that teammates who are not ready only hurt the team. As winners of the last 4 National Championships the Nittany Lions Volleyball team has raised the title banner 5 times and is looking to do so again this year. With this kind of experience on the team, there is no doubt they have a very good chance.

Penn State Hockey

The Penn State Icers is the hockey team for Penn State. Players returning this year include Tim O’Brien (defenseman), Taylor Cera (forward), Teddy Hume (goalie), and Chris Pronchik (forward). There are many other returning players and also several freshmen this year. Tim O’Brien is expected to do well this year, as he has scored the highest number of goals on the team, with forty four. The coach and assistant coaches all expect great things from the Icers this year. Last year, they placed third in the ESCHL regular season, and the year before, they were ESCHL regular season and playoff champions, under head coach Scott Balboni. Coach Balboni is not returning this year, but new head coach Guy Gadowsky looks forward to a strong season with the experienced team.

Penn State Soccer

Both the Men’s and the Women’s Soccer teams at Penn State, like the rest of the fall sports teams, have promising teams this year. The Women’s team won their thirteenth consecutive Big Ten Championship last year, led by head coach Erica Walsh. Junior (now senior) Ali Schaefer won the big ten game last year by scoring the winning goal seventeen seconds before the end of the game. Ali Schaefer returns this year, along with Jess Rosenbluth, Emma Thomson, and Carly Niness. This season promises to be an adrenaline-filled season, as the team tries for their fourteenth consecutive Big Ten Championship.

On the Men’s side of the soccer field, the 18th ranked Lions trumped Towson 1-0 in their preseason finale. The win improves their preseason record to 2-0 after beating Hartwick 3-1 last Tuesday. The team returns players Jordan Tyler, Mackenzie Arment, Justin Lee, Brian Forque, Matt Smallwood, and Mark Fetrow. Jordan Tyler was a top scorer in previous years, as was Mackenzie Arment. There are also juniors joining the Lions from other teams. Minh Vu, Hasani Sinclair, and Julian Cardona join the team, and could be key players in the upcoming season.

With so many fall sports to choose from, it’s no wonder everyone gets pumped up for Penn State’s fall sports season. Choose your sport, root for your favorite Penn State team, or root for them all! There will never be a dull moment when you’re a Penn State fan!